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November 2020

Quiet Slump

CyanIs this not an interesting range of blues? Apparently this array of colors was developed to describe the sky - way, way back sometime in the 30's by a German scientist (wish I had kept the original url!). I like the idea, of course, being so fond of blue skies. :) Can you imagine trying to dye fabric with that many graduations of blue? :)

The past few days have been quiet here. I've been fighting with the sleep demons again .. missed my Sew&Tell meeting last Sunday by sleeping right through the afternoon. Grrr! I am alternately waking up at the crack of dawn and the early afternoon. I think my diurnal clock is definitely haywire. :P

I did manage to get to the Sip&Sew zoom meeting with my modern quilt making buddies on Wednesday evening. Whew! Every one needs some laughter in their lives. :)

While I chatted, I started working on my newest applique kit, bought recently from Springwater Designs. Here is an in-progress photo:

Acorns in progressCan you see the acorns with their little caps? Since I took this pic, I've added the stems on every little nut and cut out the background fabric squares. Next step, when I get to sew again, is to start sewing them down to the backgrounds. I am enjoying this simple seasonal project (hope it is _still_ seasonal when I finish it!:).

Here is what it is _supposed_ to end up looking like, when done:

WholeSorry about the light circle - had to use my camera's flash due to low light in my sewing room. I did not think the matte paper surface would reflect like that. :) Could not seem to find an angle that would avoid the flash spot and still give a decent view of the quilt pattern. Sigh.

I've been reading again - more comfort stuff - and cooking meals ... and vegetating. Time to kick myself back into motion and sew some!

:) Linda


Busy with Sunshine

Snowgeese_0f1a6833_dxoRemember those Snow Geese I shared with you yesterday? I recalled last night a day when I was in High School (a junior or senior) - we were living on a small farm in rural south Texas while my father went to graduate school - and I looked out the living room window to the small pond (in Texan that's called a tank or stock tank) across the road. There, floating and covering the entire field to the distance was a white carpet of snow geese. Apparently we were  on the migration pathway because we saw them at about the same time the next year, too. So beautiful! :) If you click on the photo you can go read about someone else's observations of their migration.

Today was busy with chores and delights. It was sunny though chilly (50s or so as a high). At noon I zoomed to a meeting of the Handmade Book Club with a presentation on basic book making and questions from the audience for our organizing guru, Ali. :) It was fun and I actually learned some new tips (like how to fold an accordion page). 

Then from 2 to 3:45 or so, my friends Patty and Barbara met me (again via Zoom) to do our usual Friday afternoon sewing. I so enjoy these meetings!! Today I worked on piecing the last scraps of my Cherrywood fabrics into blocks for my improv project. Here is what I made:

Slab1This is about 15" wide and maybe 4" or 5" tall.

Made from the largest and the smallest of my bits.

Slab2This slab is about 10" square or so. I like the variation my little hst bits created.

I enjoyed the sewing with these pieces ... and they were truly very, very improv in  structure. I did not do any preplanning, just letting the sewing flow as I went along and made sections fit together. Pretty soon (early next week maybe) I will lay out all the various slabs and blocks I've made with my hand dyes and see what might be made with them.

I won't be working on that project this weekend, though - Saturday I have the Columbia Friends modern Zoom, as usual, and I plan to start quilting my Scrub Rose mini for the WhiteElephantSwap on Instagram. Sunday afternoon is the monthly meeting of my Sew&Tell buddies ... and I'll likely still be quilting the mini. If I make more progress than I expect on Saturday, I might get to the improv project then. :)

In addition to my zooming today, Hugh and I went grocery shopping in the late afternoon. Our fridge and panty shelves were e.m.p.t.y.!! I should have taken some time to clean the fridge while it was so empty but I did not want to waste the daylight. :) There were no working electric handicap carts to ride at the store today so I walked twice as much as my usual daily goal during our shopping expedition .. and was truly tired when I got home. Phew! Luckily Skip was awake so I could default to letting him and Hugh carry in and stow all the groceries while I sat in my comfie chair and rested. :)

When we walked out the front door on the way to go to the store, here's what greeted us:

Red lawnEven MORE fallen leaves on the front lawn. :) I was surprised that there were any leaves left on the trees at all.

:) Linda


Nature in Autumn

ImagesThis photo is from National Geographic (stupidly I did not note the url) and shows the landing of a mass of snow geese into a waterway where cranes already rest. When I saw this picture, I was instantly reminded of Japanese fabric prints with similar subject matter - the ethereal quality of this photo and its celebration of flight inspires me. :)

We have had steady rain and very, very gray skies for the past two days. Before the rain started, on  Tuesday afternoon, I stepped outside and saw that our blood-leaf Japanese maple had turned color overnight. During the growing year, its leaves are a deep maroon red but when cooler weather comes, usually sometime in midNovember, the leaves flame into scarlet and are almost incandescent under sunlight. We have lived in this house for 33 years and every year I am captured by the glory if the color! :)

 

Sky of treesThis photo was taken, standing with the front door of our house behind me, looking across the front yard into the afternoon sunlight.

Side tree

These two small trees are scions of the large blood-leaf and are situated near the side wall of our neighbors to the west.

Front door

Turning around to show the lower branches of our big blood-leaf maple near our front door.

Baby tree

This is a baby tree that we let grow under the large one - it makes seeds prolifically every spring and any baby that grows in the landscape bed underneath is let grow until we can see its color. :)

Yesterday morning I went out the front door and found heavy rain falling and the front yard (which had been mowed and cleared of all leaves the day before) covered with fallen red leaves. The rain brought most of them down overnight. I took a picture of our driveway (and our parked Bolt) to show the accumulated color.

Red drivewayThe window for leaf peeping in my own front yard was pretty short this year! :) Nevertheless, I love it.

I was going out yesterday to visit my friend Daria in Catonsville (about 12 miles or 20 minutes north by car). She is a long arm quilter and is going to quilt the tops I've been sewing over the past few months. I took 9 tops to her. Five are small (40" square or so) comfort quilts for charity, two are the Halloween quilts for my grandsons, one is my Aboriginal fabric medallion top and the last one is that floating crazy squares bingo quilt. I'm excited to get all  those done - nothing like a quilted top to feel like progress! :)

Of course, one of the backing pieces I took along turned out to be too small - the bingo quilt. So yesterday, on my way home from Catonsville, I stopped at Springwater Designs (my lqs) and bought a nice piece of wide backing to substitute. I found a Moda print (gray leaves with a subtle text background) with a glorious soft hand to use ... took that back to Daria this afternoon. So, despite the cold rain, I've been out twice in two days (a big rush for lately:).

During the virtual modern retreat last weekend, Jenn (the organizer) offered to make a bingo quilt using blocks to be made by members from a pattern donated by Crimson Tate (in our swag bags) called Letters From Home. Last night (Wednesday) I sewed nine of them while chatting with quilt buddies via Zoom during our weekly Sip&Sew meeting.

Letters

As you can probably see, I used some of my Cherrywood hand dyed fabric scraps. Each of those envelope blocks measures about 5.5" x 6.5". I had fun pairing colors and playing with combinations. 

There is only a small pile of scraps left from my two bundles of Cherrywood fabrics - maybe enough for one good sized block. I sat earlier this evening and started sewing pairs of scraps together. Tomorrow (when there is more light in my room) I will try to finish it. Then I have to spend the weekend quilting my Scrub Rose mini.

I hope it does not rain tomorrow as I have to go grocery shopping. :P

:) Linda


Travel Weekend

63997456_3_x-1HOORAY! The election has been decided. Whew! I don't talk about politics much here ... but I am seriously a progressive and am thrilled that The Donald is on his way out. My husband is worried and pessimistic that the transition will be ... awful .... at best. I have my fingers crossed. :)

I spent this past weekend at a virtual quilting retreat with my Baltimore Modern guild pals ... we traveled to visit other modern quilt makers in Sao Paulo, Brasil, Mumbai, India, London, England and Honolulu, Hawaii. So cool!! Jenn and Megan, the retreat organizers, actually emailed modern quilters in those cities and got info about their quilt making worlds. Fascinating! The next best thing to being there, as they say. :)

Meanwhile, as I 'traveled,' I worked on my White Elephant Swap mini quilt for an InstaGram exchange. The story behind this design is pretty simple. Several years ago I admired and photographed the fabric made into scrubs that one of my personal doctor's nurses was wearing ... and finally have gotten to adapt the design to be my own. Here are some photos of the top I made, working from Friday through Sunday afternoon.

Scrubrose

This is the entire top - it's about 18"x24" or so (I haven't actually measured it, yet). I used machine applique (with 'fancy' stitches), hand applique, and hand embroidery. This photo makes the blues look darker than they really are - they're quite bright, sapphire blue.

 

Embroidery

This is a close up to show the blue wool circles with the simple embroidery I did on them. The smaller orange circles are quilting fabric; the lime green circles are wool, too.

 

Stem

I couched hand dyed cotton soft braid down to make the stems with a herringbone stitch. It's not perfect, but I think it's pretty. :) 

I like the way this design turned out. I have to quilt it, now (probably very organically) and finish it, ready to ship out at the end of this month. I do think I will make another version for myself sometime in the future ... maybe with more embroidery and beading.

The weather is glorious outside - perfect fall days in the high 60s, low 70s for temperature, blue  skies and lavish sunshine (even though the days are getting shorter). I have to go outside to enjoy it a bit today. 

:) Linda


More Improv Sewing

Aheneah-cross-stitching-streetart-14

Aheneah-cross-stitching-streetart-8

Isn't this incredible?? A Portuguese artist named Ana Martin does cross stitch murals on public street walls. So very cool, in my humble opinion. :) Click on the photos to go see more of her work. I just LOVE seeing needlework in this kind of unexpected venue! :)

The weather was lovely and fall-ish today - mid60s in temperature, sunny, breezy with that wonderful crisp autumnal smell. :) I went out grocery shopping in the late afternoon and enjoyed the sunshine coming and going. My son and husband were both sleeping ... but we were getting desperately low on provender ... so I went alone.

Truthfully, it was hard work for me. I usually ride an electric cart through the store (a big warehouse kind of place) because the concrete floors are so hard on my joints. Can't get much in the way of groceries in a basket cart, though, so I walked and pushed a regular cart. Took my time, found what we needed, and was exhausted by the time I got home. Phew! Luckily my husband was awake from his nap when I got back and could carry in and put away the stuff. :P

I did manage to do some sewing tonight during the modern guild zoom sew-in ... still doing improv piecing with my Cherrywood hand dyed fabric scraps:

Improv2


Improv2


Improv2


Improv2

I don't know how these bits will fit into my design ... but I sure had a fun time making them. :) The strips you see are about 3/4" wide, mostly.

I also got a good start on my new hand applique project, Falling Leaves. Here's my first block (wool applique):

RedbudThis is the leaf and flower of an Eastern Redbud tree. I'd like to put the name on the block too but I have not decided how to do it (can't ink it which is what I would do on a flat cotton background block). Embroidery? Applique? Still pondering. Have started the second block - yellow locust.

Have an appointment tomorrow to get my hair cut ... and a zoom meeting with Faithful Circle quilt guild (if I wake up in time). :)

Linda